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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Hyporheic Zone Exchange in Phreatic Karst Conduits With Contaminant Implications

EPA Grant Number: FP917348
Title: Hyporheic Zone Exchange in Phreatic Karst Conduits With Contaminant Implications
Investigators: Koski, Katrina M , Koski, Katrina M
Institution: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2014
Project Amount: $126,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2011)
Research Category: Fellowship - Water Quality: Hydrogeology and Surface Water , Academic Fellowships



This research seeks to confirm the presence of karst conduit hyporheic flow and to understand its role in the migration, sequestration and transformation of natural and anthropogenic chemical constituents in water.


This project will use modeling and field observations to verify the existence of karst conduit hyporheic flow and their role in the transporting and processing of contaminants. Initial modeling will consist of simple analytical and numerical models at the beginning of the project to inform the design of the observational program. A field project using traditional methods from surface water hyporheic studies, and karst studies, such as dye traces, will verify hyporheic flow at the field site: Wakulla Leon Sinks Cave in Florida. The project will end with modeling as a descriptive tool, with computational fluid dynamics models run on multicore desktops and super computers.

Expected Results:

The models and field experiment will verify the existence of karst conduit hyporheic flow and lead to characterization of its properties, forcing and spatial and temporal scales. Finally, the project will examine how well karst hyporheic flow facilitates sequestration and transformation of contaminants.

Potential to Further Environmental / Human Health Protection

The ultimate result of the project will be to produce a set of results, conceptual models and tools that can help scientists and policy makers anticipate the impacts of floods, droughts and contamination events on water quality, and the consequences for water supply management and water quality monitoring decisions.

Supplemental Keywords:

karst hydrology, karst aquifer, hyporheic, water quality, groundwater

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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